Oct. 22nd, 2015


Oct. 22nd, 2015 12:19 pm
magenta: (Witch's Hat)
Or How I Spent My Autumn Vacation

We had been talking about going to England for a while, and finally chose a bus tour as a way to get us to some of the places we wanted to see. This might have been a mistake. I was slightly ill a lot of the time and it took a few days to figure out why. I seem to be getting more and more susceptible to motion sickness as I get older, and this tour turned out to have long periods on the road. Dramamine helps, but knocks me out, so not suitable for a travel when I want to be alert. I never really got up to speed from the jet lag going there, and motion sickness, so I really wasn't feeling very well a lot of the trip. Then, coming home, the same all over again, and my sleep cycle was messed up for days. Now, two weeks later, I am sleeping normally, and feel better, and I'm finally getting around to posting about it.

The tour went to a lot of places I, for one, didn't care about (one picturesque Cotswold village was enough, and we went to three). The bus broke down the first full day – the tour guide coped well, but made for a very long day, the first of many.

There were several places we wanted to visit (or Martin did, anyway) that we managed to get to. One was the Castlerigg stones just outside of Keswick in the Lake District, which is beautiful and worth visiting in any case. We went went with the tour group to Grasmere, then took a local bus to Castle Lane and walked about 15 minutes along a very narrow road, and found:

Castlerigg 1
Castlerigg 18
Castlerigg 17

Martin really wanted to see this stone circle:

Castlerigg 14

There was a bas relief of the whole circle at one end.

Castlerigg Map 1

The tour went to Bath, a major Roman site which is fairly intact. The attached museum is aimed mostly at people who are not very familar with the history, so it was a bit boring for us, but seeing the pools was interesting, and there are some good things in the collection.

The springs bubbling:

Bath 3

The Head of Minerva:

Bath - Minerva Head

The tour included Tintagel. I could not get down the hill, or rather, I was concerned I could not get up again, so I waited while Martin went. He took pictures, including what I like to call a shadow selfie.

Tintagel 8
Tintagel 7
Tintagel 5
Tintagel 4

The tour went to Stonehenge, which has become a major tourist attraction and a place for selfies. No point in posting pictures, because there are hundreds of them online.

Finally the tour was over, and we were on our own in London. We went to the British Museum, which was fascinating, and Treadwells Bookshop, where we bought a couple of books. We went to Greenwich so we could stand with a foot in each hemisphere:

Martin at Meridian

and on the way back, stopped at the Atlantis bookshop, where we didn't take pictures but we did buy books.

We took a train, then a bus, to get to Avebury, which Martin really wanted to see, and I wanted to see again. To me it's more impressive than Stonehenge, because it covers so much more area, with very large stones over greater distances.

Martin at Avebury
Avebury 5
Avebury 2

By the way, I think Stonehenge is the only stone circle without sheep.

The last day, we walked through Kensington Gardens, and went to the Science Museum, which was fun, and the Victoria and Albert, which was incredible; some excellent statues: a relatively modern Diana, and the Saxon God Sunna rendered by a 19th century artist.

Diana at V-A 2
Sunna at V-A 2

There was a beautiful display of jewelry, and the the most gorgeous place to eat I have been to in along time, designed by the William Morris company – it was the first museum restaurant. I was so stunned I forgot to take any pictures of it.

So we're home now, and have been for two weeks, and I still haven't yet sorted out the reciepts. We have two Oyster cards with 12 pounds on each one, if anyone is interested.


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